McGinn’s Raw Recap – 11/24/14

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John Cena and Dolph Ziggler easily dispatched of Seth Rollins and his security team Monday night (Courtesy WWE.com)

Monday Night Raw
November 24, 2014
Indianapolis, IN

Against an army of shadows, lies the dark warrior… The prevailer of good… With a voice of silence… And a mission of justice… This is Sting.

Place to Be Nation, it is great to be back for your weekly Raw Recap. I know you have oodles of choices when it comes to feeding your three-hour addiction and I’m certainly thankful you have chosen me, your own personal “prevailer of good” to bring you top notch (okay, maybe above average) highlights and analysis. I have just awoken from my Sting mark out coma and look forward to writing Raw during a whole new era. So long Authority! You won’t be missed! Have fun cleaning toilets or whatever the hell Cena said last week to Hunter and Steph. If you missed Survivor Series, stop what you are doing and contribute something positive to society. The beginning and ending were worth the price of admission and yes I understand the show was free, but you know what I mean! Just know these simple truths from Sunday: Dolph is now a stud, Ryback is once again a tool and Sting’s appearance will probably trump my future wedding and at least the births of two of my potential children in terms of awesomeness. I also know sentences like that could impede any prospects of either of those occurrences but you catch my drift. It was pretty awesome! So let’s get right on to it shall we?

Your announcers tonight are Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry “The King Lawler.

We open with a sick Sting montage that made me mark out all over again. Sure I wish they kept the old WCW Crow theme but his entrance and subsequent thrashing of Triple H was simply delicious. Speaking of which, out comes the former power couple, Steph and Hunter, who will be making their farewell speech. Fans are all over them chanting “you got fired” and booing mercilessly. Stephanie says that what they are doing by coming out tonight took great courage and then blamed one man for Team Authority’s defeat last night. One man who in one night changed the entire face of WWE history forever and when she mentioned that one man’s name, the place exploded! She then reiterates what Vince said at the pay-per-view by announcing that the only man in the company that has the power to reinstate The Authority is John Cena.

She goes on for a while until Hunter whispers something into his wife’s ear and she turns on the water works, bringing up Thanksgiving before she completely breaks down in the ring. Hunter eggs on the crowd to cheer and continue their cat calls and then calls us all bullies. He warns us to be careful of what we wish for because no one can handle so much power to run the WWE the way they did. He asks the Universe, who is going to make the decisions on their behalf that are best for business? Will it be Cena? Ziggler? Sting?

Then he addresses the new kid on the block. He is not sure why Sting finally came to WWE or why he interfered at Survivor Series. He speculates that perhaps he did it so he could finally stand in the ring with Triple H and give his career some relevance. Ooooh burn! He speaks of how that one act of defiance against The Authority will ultimately destroy WWE. See in the COO’s twisted logic, without them, there would be no John Cena, Dolph Ziggler or WWE Universe. Without them, this whole thing could crumble in a matter of weeks. No more Raws on Monday. No more pay-per-views to bitch about. It’s all over people! When it happens, I’ll likely go back to listening to old time radio on Monday nights and your lives will surely suffer because you won’t be reading me anymore. Very passionate words by the King of Kings and definitely worth checking out if you wish.

When he finishes, he tells the world that when everything goes to hell, we all will beg to bring back The Authority. Then the familiar notes of “Flight of the Valkyries” blasts on the speakers and for the first time since Money in the Bank, out comes Daniel Bryan! Cole is elated as the former champion triumphantly returns to the ring to a deafening ovation from the Indy crowd. The “Yes” chant is still incredibly over and Hunter does a tremendous job of keeping a deadpan face during the whole ordeal. Yes! Yes! Yes! rings throughout the Fieldhouse as Hunter and Steph attempt to leave the ring. Bryan runs out of and blocks their path and continues his iconic chant. Wonderful stuff!! A fitting conclusion to story started way back at SummerSlam 2013.

Back from break, Bryan addresses the Universe and says it feels good to be back and to kick The Authority out of the ring. He then said that he’s been put in charge of running Raw tonight. He’s decided to call out Team Authority and have them take the stage to face the music. He says he isn’t a spiteful person so he won’t strip their titles or put them in ridiculous matches. Beginning with Seth Rollins, he puts Mr. Money in The Back in a 3-on-2 handicap match against Cena and Ziggler. Before he can name Seth’s partners, Rollins brags about still being the future of the company and the carrier of the briefcase. Then he inquires as to who those partners will be and Bryan says that the WWE Universe will pick using the app. The choices are Mark Henry & Kane, Henry & Luke Harper or Mercury & Noble.

He then takes Corporate Kane’s job of Director of Operations away and then transfers him the Food and Beverage Department. He will now be known as Concessions Kane and was handed a tray with popcorn and instructed to sell food for the night. Next on the block is US Champion Rusev who is given the choice of either defending the belt in a company wide battle royal or he can come to the ring with a giant American flag and lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Hahaha that’s brilliant! I love Daniel Bryan!

Rounding out the comeuppance for Team Authority is Harper having to defend the IC Belt against Dean Ambrose and Henry will battle Ryback in our opener. Apparently Ryback wants to avenge his most embarrassing moment in his career when he lost to the World’s Strongest Man at WrestleMania last year. I would have guessed forming RybAxel was the most embarrassing but I’m smart enough not to argue with a guy the size of Ryback.

RYBACK VS. MARK HENRY

I was disappointed in Ryback’s lackluster performance at the PPV so this is the company throwing the Big Guy a bone. Before the break, he rams Henry into the post and the World’s Strongest Man never recovered. Ryback pounds on him after the bell sounds and then throttles him with a meat hook clothesline for an incredibly dominant victory. For a guy touted as the “hottest free agent in WWE” a couple weeks ago, it was shocking to see him job out first on Team Cena. Seeing him murder Henry in under four minutes might be the start of something huge for The Big Guy. WINNER: RYBACK

Hunter and Steph morosely leave the arena but are first met by Vince who shares his disappointment in them. He said they failed him and he doesn’t like that feeling of failure. Somehow and some way, they are going to fix this. Steph tries to say she is sorry, but Vince goes bananas and says that he’s never been sorry for anything. He says that the only thing he is sorry for is having to spend Thanksgiving with the two of them! This show is cooking with gas so far. I never thought I’d say this, but could we get more Vince on this show?

INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Luke Harper (C) Vs. Dean Ambrose

Poor Ambrose can’t escape the former Wyatt Family members. You have to believe these guys work well together given all the wars they had during the Shield/Wyatt wars of earlier in the year. Ambrose works the arm and looks strong to start before the poorly timed and rather annoying commercial break to throw off the momentum of the match. After a brief heat segment, Ambrose mounts a comeback following a mammoth clothesline on the outside. They continue their sick brawl with Ambrose tying up the IC champ in the ropes and delivering a drop kick and leg drop on the prone Harper. Dean then countered a superplex into an elbow off the top for a near-fall. It’s a truly stiff battle until Harper decides to take his gold and go home. Ambrose stops him with a dive outside the ring and before the Lunatic Fringe could finish him off, Harper shoved Dean into the ref who then called for the bell. WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE BY DQ

Cruddy ending to say the least but then Ambrose delivers Dirty Deeds to Harper onto a steel chair much like he did to Bray on Sunday. Crowd calls for tables so Dean grabs some wood as well as a ladder before Wyatt makes the save. Bray hits Sister Abigail on Ambrose and then buries him with chairs after throwing him over the announce table. By the way, they fight at TLC next month in case you haven’t heard. Follow the Buzzards!

Oh Hell no! You won’t ever see me writing a detailed description of a Z-level celebrity hyping up a sequel to a holiday movie that honestly never needed or asked for one. Just know that when your Larry “The Cable Guy” segment has to be saved by the comedic stylings of Santino Marella, you know that segment completely sucked! Thank the Lord in Heaven that Gold and Stardust came out for their match because this was simply wretched. Did I mention Larry was topless? Barf!

WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

The Miz & Damien Mizdow Vs. Gold & Stardust

Back-to-back title matches! Lucky me! Besides the main event, The Miz and Mizdow winning the gold last night was the highlight of the whole pay-per-view if you ask me. Miz getting booed holding the belts while Mizdow receiving cheers holding up nothing was simply priceless. Today they tried something different as Miz still continues to carry the actual belts while Mizdow has a couple straps of his own though it’s easy to see that his version of the titles are actually toys. Fans are still on fire for Mizdow even though Lillian didn’t get the memo and called him Sandow. BRING BACK JUSTIN ROBERTS!!

Okay, back to the match! Mizdow actually gets some ring time in this one as it appears that Miz gets hurt on the outside. He is covering his “Money Maker” for what it’s worth. Mmeanwhile, Mizdow executes that nifty Miz combo of the back and neckbreaker. Once Stardust takes control, Mizdow attempts to make a tag only to notice his partner still on the ground. Mizdow takes out Goldust with a forearm and then takes out the leg of Stardust. He then attempts a figure-four leglock and hooks it in even better than his A-list partner could ever hope to only for Goldy to break it up. Frantic action ensues with Miz blind tagging his partner and hitting Stardust with a Skull-Crushing Finale for the 1,2,3. WINNERS: MIZ & MIZDOW

It’s the reverse of last night with Mizdow doing all the work and Miz picking up the cheap victory. We get the Yay/Boo celebration from the champs and if it stays this cool, I hope they hold the straps for a very long time!

I am starting to feel a bit peckish so naturally we get a cute little segment involving Kane being talked down to by the manager of a concession stand. She jokes about how he likes to burn things and what have you. Kane holds it together and we move on to Rusev and Lana already in the ring.

They are none too happy to be forced to have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Rusev flat out refuses to be brainwashed and attempts to leave the ring. Bryan then appears on the screen and threatens to start the battle royal if they don’t follow through with the Pledge of Allegiance. He then gives Rusev another chance and sends out a special enforcer to make sure the deed is done. Out comes Sgt. Slaughter who begins giving orders. The American flag explodes from the rafters to the chagrin of Lana and Slaughter orders them to salute the flag. Lana, to her credit, puts her hand on her ample bosom and begins to sheepishly recite the pledge. Fans are eating this up but Rusev is getting pissed so he gets his lady out of the ring and things look bleak for my former American hero. Before you can say “and that’s an order,” Jack Swagger runs down to save the day for Sarge and applies the Patriot Lock on his old rival.

Back to the concession stand, Kane can’t work the register so he starts just handing out food to everyone in his line. Then we get more hijinks from Santino and Larry. Kane sprays Santino with mustard and more time was wasted. I hope I get these minutes back someday when I’m in my palace in Heaven.

FANDANGO (W/ ROSA) VS. JUSTIN GABRIEL

So Fandango is now a Latin lover and Rosa is still hot as blazes. So instead of ballroom, he now prefers the dancing of the salsa variety. I suppose if I upgraded from Summer Rae to Rosa Mendes, I’d dance anyway you want me to! His finisher is still the same though as he leg drops the Cape Town Werewolf from the top for the easy win. WINNER: FANDANGO

So Big Show is heel again… YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWN! #DontCare

This sucks! Did anyone ask for this heel turn? Do we really want to see Show/Cena for the 3,000th time? Show starts off happy-go-lucky but then goes all remorseful saying that he made a mistake. He says he despises The Authority and references his insipid storyline from last year when Hunter took away his job, house, etc. He says giants have feelings and fears just like you. He said what he did to Cena was a snap decision and he panicked. He thought his team would lose and let his emotions get the best of him. He asks for the fans’ forgiveness and insists that he is still a good person. He feels that his 20 years of service to the company entitles him to a mulligan on this one since he has “entertained” us for years. Fans start chanting “You Sold Out” and the giant blows his top! He says he deserves respect damn it! He says if anyone in the back has something to say about him after last night, let them say it to his face.

This brings out Erick Rowan to his creepy samurai music. Show calls him the “Upside-down Sheamus” and is quite surprised he would even come out to the ring. He makes fun of him for his dealings with the Angry Cat last week (BTW, Angry Cat is a girl!) and is shocked someone as simple as Rowan would have the courage to stand up to a giant like him. Show gives him a chance to walk about but Rowan grabs the mic and proclaims to the world that he hates bullies. He clubs Show a few times and then scores with a ridiculous spin kick dropping Big Show to the mat. Show won’t enter and a huge sigh of relief echoes throughout the Universe as we won’t be subjected to another Show/Cena program.

Mercury and Noble try to butter up Rollins in the back as it is almost a formality that the newly dubbed J&J Security will be teaming with the standard bearer this evening. One of them even refers to their team as Shield 2.0. In walks Dolph who says that he just asked all his Twitter followers (1.43 million) to vote for the cruiserweights. Seth looks about as happy as a fat kid at the salad bar as we head to break.

BRIE BELLA (W/ NIKKI BELLA) VS. AJ LEE

Lez be honest, no one cares about the Divas Division anymore now that Nikki is the champ right? I mean as long as we all get hot lesbian action, aren’t we all winners? Does it really matter who is holding the belt? AJ cuts quite the promo on the sisters before the match calling Brie a bigger skank than her sister. She also points out that her life’s work is now just an accessory to Nikki’s wardrobe. This just makes the months of Nikki and Brie feuding completely worthless. As is this match. Nikki causes a distraction by pulling AJ’s arm down across the top rope. Brie uses the one wrestling move she knows to pin AJ and the brutality of the Bellas knows no end. WINNER: BRIE BELLA

Highlight of the night is after the bout when AJ cuts another scathing promo on the twins saying it takes two of them to beat her and that talent can’t be sexually transmitted. Yowza! So much for TV-PG!

ADAM ROSE & THE BUNNY VS. TYSON KIDD & NATALYA

Oy vey! Bunny grabs Rose’s leg accidentally and Kidd rolls him up for the win. Why is this on my TV but Sami Zayn and Aaron Neville are not? Pathetic! WINNER: TYSON KIDD & NATALYA

Ryback gets interviewed by Renee in the back. Ryback says it is almost Thanksgiving and he’s starting to feel a little hungry. He jokingly asks where he can find the nearest concession stand? Oh that Ryback! Such a kidder! Hilarity ensues when Ryback pokes fun of Kane’s new job and the Devil’s Favorite Hot Dog Vender throw’s a wiener at the Big Guy. Ryback takes offense and shoves the table, along with Kane against the wall and the two monsters have a bit of a food fight. Kane escapes and Ryback makes a zinger about the Big Red Machine forgetting his nuts (a bag of peanuts). Stop it Raw, my sides are splitting!

Cena and Ziggler talk backstage with Dolph giving credit to Sting for last night’s win but Cena brought it back to Ziggler’s heroics in stopping The Authority.

DOLPH ZIGGLER & JOHN CENA VS. SETH ROLLINS & ???

With a whopping 93% of the votes (mine included) Mercury and Noble were added to this match! A dejected Rollins let out a huge F bomb in front of the camera, which of course was muted. So this instantly turned into a comedy match. I guess I didn’t realize how tiny those guys are. I mean Rollins looks like a giant next to Noble and I won’t even say what I thought when he stood next to Cena. Okay, it was like watching a WeeLC match, there I said it!

Once the novelty of seeing the stooges out there wore off, this match lost a bit of it’s luster. Dolph and Cena do make a fun little team, but this one felt like a forgone conclusion. Rollins was cornered by our two heroes at one point but was saved by his henchmen. The good guys would quickly recover and nail each of them with their respective finishers and this one is history! WINNERS: ZIGGLER & CENA

After the match, Rollins backpedaled up the aisle only to be thrown back in the ring by Daniel Bryan. He eats a super kick followed by an AA to the delight of the fans. As the new “Big 3” start celebrating, a very familiar, and distinctly aggravating text alert emanated from the arena speakers. Horrible memories of 2010-11 resurrected in all our souls and lo and behold, the Anonymous Raw General Manager’s podium appeared next to the announce table. Cole donned his reading glasses and announced that next Monday will be Cyber Monday. In addition, the email said that “order and discipline will be restored” on Raw. Oh what the hell? If this is what we’re getting, give me back The Authority!

After a red hot pay-per-view, this week’s Raw was as satisfying as a turd in a punch bowl. Did I like seeing Ziggler not getting his brains beat in? Yes! Was it fun seeing all the Team Authority guys get what’s coming to them? Yes! Was it cool seeing Daniel Bryan again and playing a huge role on television? Oh Hell Yes!

But some of those filler segments were just terrible. Larry “The Cable Guy” in 2014? No! Pointless Adam Rose/Bunny shenanigans? No! Anything involving the Bellas that doesn’t involve girls kissing each other? Oh Hell No! Plus they teased Sting at the beginning and he’s nowhere to be found.

I will say this, seeing Bryan again was tremendously refreshing. I hope and pray he can someday wrestle again at a high level. But if he can’t, couldn’t you see him as a face on-air personality? Maybe let him run Raw on a more permanent basis. He can be like Mick Foley in 2000 perhaps and be a foil to the Rollins’ of the world. Just a thought! I am excited about a new direction for the company and intrigued by what creative comes up with now that the crutch of The Authority is put away for a while. Hopefully we’re in for a fresh start or perhaps the dawn of a new day coming.

And before you say it smart guy, I’m not talking about Xavier, Kofi, E or their stupid little choir!

Author: Dan McGinn

Dan McGinn is a former Minor League Baseball announcer, a five-star General in the #sweatervestarmy and an all around babyface who you should be happy to take home to dinner. He also happens to write about wrestling.